Towards the end of the 2011 portion of this thread, the OP posted a link to her blog, wherein a number of strategies for handling fears were mentioned. Here are some of them, rephrased:
1. Distract oneself from thinking "I'm so afraid". Ways suggested to do this included accepting that one is afraid, then planning action to deal with the fear-engendering situation, and then doing what needs to be done; another way if what is bothering you is a natural phenomena is to concentrate on the beauty of the situation, rather than the fear.
2. Progressive desensitization. The example was given of someone who was afraid of heights, who allowed someone to hoist her up the mast
incrementally, first spreaders, then back down; further up till she felt dizzy, then back down; and so on, till she could tolerate being at the masthead without ill effects. I find that not looking down, but out over everything helps, focussing on the job at hand, helps, taking the camera
aloft to take pictures also helps.
3. Self talk. Telling yourself that you are learning
to handle it better and better, accompanied by pushing your limits (desensitization) will help.
4. Acceptance. If you accept that the "worst" thing that might happen is that one die, and knowing that everything that has life will die at some point including *me*, then what's the point of worrying about that? So what's the next worst thing? At some point you will arrive at a realistic fear for the situation, and begin to see the solution.
5. Another method was "SUHU", which I had to look up, it means "Shut Up and Harden UP", and I think this might actually work well in a team situation, where there is peer pressure to conform to an understood standard of behavior. It could also be a disaster between a husband and wife. At any rate, the concept
is a sort of denial of the fear, accompanied by doing the job at hand--a mental shortcut to action. In addition, in a sense, the solution involves peer consultation, which is what bringing the issue to CF is.
Only you can make the final decision as to whether what you are experiencing is anxiety (an irrational fear; and even a phobia is an irrational fear, even though it may paralize a person) or a "real" fear. Some people simply cast off anxiety because they see it doesn't make sense. That's the easy way. But if it's a "real" fear, you know it's a situation you must handle some way. And of course, you CAN choose to hold on to the fear, and you don't even HAVE TO question the decision!
After all, it is your
I've thought about it a lot because I used to find myself not taking care of something that needed doing during my night watch. I went through this self talk: why are you not doing this? I would not act until I owned up to myself that it was cause I was scared, then answered the question, "how can I make this 'risk' feel acceptable?" and pushed myself to handle the situation. Usually it involved me suiting up and harnessing up and going forward when it was bouncy and wet. I just had to accept the situation, then handle it: thus is confidence built. Careful consideration of the notion of acceptable risk may help,too.